The shocking suggestion of terminating a pregnancy due to a cleft lip left the parents bewildered. How could they possibly consider such an option? The moment a baby enters the world is a profound and unforgettable experience, revealing the intricacy with which each of us is formed in the womb, imperfections and all.
During a gathering with old friends on a weekend, Matt Martin, a regular Texan father of twin boys, found himself engaged in a discussion about politics and abortion. When the topic of terminating pregnancies due to impairments like cleft lips arose, Matt voiced his strong belief that it is morally wrong.
He shared the disheartening statistic that babies with clefts are more likely to be terminated based on genetic testing, emphasizing that he, as a father of a child with a cleft, strongly disagrees with such a notion.
One of his friends, however, challenged his perspective, questioning why someone like him wouldn’t understand why one might consider aborting a baby with a cleft. Matt was taken aback. How could anyone argue that a child’s right to life should be denied simply because of a cleft palate? And so, Matt mustered his courage.
He recounted the story of his own child, who was born with a cleft lip and palate, sharing the journey on social media when his twin babies were born. While the birth of his first son, Jack, proceeded smoothly, the atmosphere in the delivery room changed when Cam, his second son, arrived with a cleft.
Yet, when Matt finally laid eyes on Cam, he didn’t just see the physical difference; he saw the precious gift of fatherhood bestowed upon him by God. He saw a resilient human being starting a new chapter in life, and whether his child was “normal” or not didn’t matter.
Matt acknowledged the initial challenges they faced due to Cam’s special needs, but at four months old, Cam underwent surgery to repair the cleft. Today, as they both grow older, it’s difficult to distinguish between Cam and Jack. After all, aren’t we all unique in our own way?
By sharing Cam’s story, Matt aimed not only to enlighten his friend but also to help other parents understand that children with cleft lips and palates are equally remarkable and beautiful. In my opinion, fathers like Matt are true heroes!
As the quote from Psalm 127:3 reminds us, children are indeed a precious gift and a reward from the Lord.